Making Memories & Getting Rid Of Them
Pre-Post Note/ THANK YOU so much for all the great ideas everyone shared on our 2016 travel plans. It’ll take a while for us to digest the 150 or so comments (wow!), but we want to thank you deeply for all the tips! We will most certainly be reading & making detailed notes. I am more excited than ever about this years travels!!
I’ve been thinking a lot about memories recently. What makes a memory, how we recall them and (very pertinent to what we’re doing right now) how we manage them going forward. You see when we went on the road over 6 years ago we made a mistake, or perhaps it would be more appropriate to say we made a miss-calculation. We got a 10′ x 15′ storage and packed it to the brim with everything we thought we wanted to keep.
We had a lot of memories, a lot of stuff that meant something to us, for whatever reason. It’s not that we didn’t downsize when we went RVing. We really did get rid of a ton of stuff! But we also kept a bunch -> old photographs, letters, key pieces of furniture, special knick-knacks. The last remnants of our “old life” which we felt we wanted to hang onto.
Our reason for doing this wasn’t completely moronic either. We really didn’t think we’d be on the road that long! Our plan was to RV for a year, maybe two and then we’d find our “perfect” place and settle down again. Why get rid of a lifetime of stuff when you’re going to need it again within a few years? Especially when you’ve saved and collected such nice stuff over so many years? Of course that plan flew out the window as soon as we passed the 2-year mark, especially since (by then) we knew we didn’t want to settle down anytime soon.
But the storage remained.
Like a big, heavy, dark secret it weighed on our shoulders every single month the storage bill came in. And like a big, heavy, dark secret we totally ignored it. We went to see our storage every year much like passing tourists visiting a monument to the dead. We’d open the door, start hyperventilating at the sight of all that “stuff” and then quickly close it, walking away with a manic “la-la-la-la” and the absolute certainty that we’d ignore it for another year. Then the storage bill would increase…again…and we’d feel the weight of all that stuff all over again.
Our life was in that storage, or so we thought. But after a certain number of years you start to question that whole premise and whether your “life” is really worth the ever-increasing storage $$ you throw at it. 6 years on and we feel this more strongly than ever. In fact I’ve talked about it many times on the blog before and it’s one of the key regrets I featured in #8 on my popular post “10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Went Fulltime RVing“.
There may be many memories of our life in that storage unit, many things that served their purpose for us at a point in time, but that time has passed. Our life has moved on and so has the physical items we associate with it. Our tastes have changed, our needs have changed. At this point we don’t even know if we’ll move into a “regular” house again (tiny house, maybe…regular, I don’t know?). Plus those old memories don’t disappear when we get rid of our old things, they simply don’t need the stuff to cement them anymore. Why not let those items go so others can make memories out of them?
So, this year….finally….after so many years of completely ignoring the problem we’re attacking our storage. We started 4 days ago and it hasn’t been easy. Anyone who’s gotten rid of stuff knows it’s both an emotionally and physically exhausting process. The sheer magnitude of the task seems overwhelming at first, but all you can do is attack it piece-by-piece, bit-by-bit.
We’ve got another 3 weeks to go and then we’ve GOT to be done. We’ve already sold 5 large items on Craig’s List (which is very active in San Diego), we’ve made 5 trips to the charity shop and we’re sorting thro’ a bunch of remaining stuff taking pics of stuff we want to chuck (but still keep a memory of), archiving and re-sorting anything we think we might keep.
And yes, despite all this we’ll probably still keep some stuff. We’ve got some small knick-knacks and other items that we can’t quite let go of (perhaps we need more time to sort through those remaining memories?), but our plan is to get OUT of that crazy 10′ x 15′ and reduce everything to the space of a small closet. Just a few boxes and (hopefully) that’s all.
In the meantime it’s going to be endless hours at the storage followed by more hours at home posting on Craigs List, following up leads and getting stuff moved. The silver lining in all this? In addition to lightening our burden of stuff, AleSmith Brewing Company (one of my FAV breweries in San Diego!) is only 10 mins from our storage spot. With the help of beer I’m pretty sure we’ll make some new memories and make it through 🙂SPONSORED LINK:
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